Shaun White says Olympic training gives him "purpose"

Snowboarder Shaun White says training for his bid to win a third Winter Olympic gold medal at the Sochi Games gives him "a lot of purpose".

The American won half-pipe gold in Turin 2006 and Vancouver 2010 and will compete in the same event, as well as slopestyle, next year in Russia.

"I dislike [training] and I love it at the same time," White told BBC Sport.

"I like that [the Olympics] gives me a lot of purpose, a lot of things to look forward to."

Olympic history

  • 2010 - Gold (half-pipe)
  • 2006 - Gold (half-pipe)

White won a sixth consecutive X Games gold in 2013  and is also a world champion skateboarder. He won X Games titles in 2011 on both snow and skateboards.

But as he did in the run-up to the Vancouver Winter Olympics, White has opted not to skateboard in 2013 for fear of injury.

If the 27-year-old wins gold in at least one of his two events, he would become the first American man to win three consecutive Winter Olympic titles.

"Today I woke up and I chose a healthy breakfast, rather than something else, because of the Olympics," added White, in an interview to be broadcast on the BBC's Ski Sunday programme on 15 December.

"I figured I'll go take an ice bath so that my muscles will be great for the next day because of the Olympics. So everything has got this bigger goal.

"After my first Olympics, I didn't know what to do with myself. You're like 'wow, I did it. All right. What do you do now?' I got super depressed, I didn't know what to do."

White is only focused on winning, something which has split the world of snowboarding.

In a sport that has anti-establishment roots, his winning-at-all-costs approach, instead of riding for kicks, doesn't appeal to everyone.

"It's so bizarre to me," added White. "It's such a funny sport, because it's built around the fact everyone is friends - and we are, we like one another and we're cool with one another.

"But if you're entering a competition, you want to win.

Did you know?

Shaun White was born with a heart defect and had two open-heart surgeries before his first birthday.

"I started to wear my emotions on my sleeve. I started to speak the truth. I think most riders are starting to realise that it's OK to say you want to win."

This year, he has pursued one of his other big interests - music - and is part of a band called Bad Things, which recently signed with Warner Bros. Records and will release an album later this year.

"My biggest passion at the moment is playing music because it so much fun to do; there's no competition," added the 13-time X Games gold medallist.

"The band and I played our first show, and I remember feeling pretty nervous, but more of that excited nervous feeling. And it was awesome.

"We stepped out on stage, and normally it's me alone out there, but I realised all these guys are with me, which was great.

"I wasn't carrying the whole group on my back. Everybody was doing their part and I like that."